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Gloucestershire paper company fined for safety failings

Posted in: Employer Negligence Hand Injuries Workplace Injuries 

A Gloucestershire paper producer has been fined after an employee’s hand was crushed in an unguarded machine as he tried to clean it.

The 43 year-old worker received a serious crushing injury, cuts and bruising to his right hand when it was drawn between the rollers of a paper coating machine, he was unable to return to work for two months.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) established that the rollers had to be cleaned periodically, sometimes several times a day, when the coating material is changed.

In normal operation, the five rollers are protected by fixed guards. However, these guards had to be removed for cleaning, and it was found that this system of work was unsafe and exposed employees to unnecessary injury risk.

An alternative system to clean the rollers should have been provided to prevent access to dangerous moving parts.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Ann Linden said:

“The law clearly states that employers should take all reasonably practicable steps to protect employees from harm arising from their work. In the case of machinery, moving parts that could cause injury should be guarded or made safe so that people cannot come into contact with them. Non-routine operations such as cleaning or maintenance are not exempt from this requirement.”


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